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Top 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Can Anchor Steelers O-Line

The Pittsburgh Steelers can't pass up on this 2022 draft prospect.

This offseason, the quarterback position for the Pittsburgh Steelers will be at the forefront, but the next signal-caller can be rendered meaningless behind a subpar offensive line. 

In 2021, the Steelers offensive front struggled to say the least. While the stats show that they were 16th in the league in allowing sacks (38), the film showed the front not consistently establishing the line of scrimmage.

When you look at the yard-per attempt averages in the passing (5.4) and rushing (3.9) attacks, the Steelers ranked in the bottom five of the NFL in both categories. While Ben Roethlisberger's struggles can be attributed to this, a back of Najee Harris' caliber should average far more than 3.9 YPC considering his talents. 

That said, the team can acquire a highly coveted centerpiece along their offensive front in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Take a look around the NFL, and watch centers play. Most of it is average, given a few exceptions. However, when it goes wrong, the world takes great notice. Bad snaps can lead to inexcusable turnovers, and more importantly, improper checks and protections at the line of scrimmage can spell doom before a play even starts.

With the 20th overall pick in April, Pittsburgh should have the opportunity to select the University of Iowa's Tyler Linderbaum. 

Widely regarded as the best center prospect, Linderbaum fills the Black and Gold mold with toughness and a blue-collar work ethic that will translate favorably to the NFL level, according to numerous Iowa football coaches:

 "I think what really separates Tyler from his peers and everybody else he plays against is just the mentality. He plays it like a defensive player. He's aggressive, he tries to finish. There's nothing that's just good enough for Tyler. He's trying to push on to punish you. Take the physical attributes out of it. It's the mindset of this guy to want to dominate you, play in and play out." - Iowa defensive line coach Kelvin Bell

"You either have that (on Tyler's rare combination of skills and mentality) or you don't and I've been very fortunate in my career to be around players that do have that," Brian Ferentz said. "It's fun to watch and it's fun to be around and you better enjoy it while you have it. It doesn't last forever, so enjoy the show. It's like good art." - Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz

While a fantastic football player, Tyler incorporates a strong wrestling background into his game. As a result, he possesses a unique ability to blend above-average athleticism with elite strength at the point of attack. 

It is important to note that the current starting center, 2021 third-round pick Kendrick Green, was primarily a guard in college before stepping into the void the Steelers have had at center due to Maurkice Pouncey's retirement after the 2020 season.

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Regardless, the University of Iowa standout is a player that both the next quarterback and the organization can trust and build around moving forward. Perhaps, he can provide the same stability that Pouncey did for ten seasons as well, if not more. 

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